Singapore launches largest freshwater marshland


SINGAPORE: The republic might be in the midst of the bird migratory season but bird watchers here have another reason to rejoice.

The Kranji Marshes in north-western Singapore, where at least 170 species of birds have been recorded, was officially launched by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the National Parks Board (NParks) yesterday.

With its opening, visitors will be able to learn more about the marsh, woodland and grass habitats through free guided walks by NParks and the Nature Society Singapore, as well as through the signboards that dot the area.

The 56.8ha Kranji Marshes is divided into two main areas. The core conservation area, which is considered ecologically sensitive, is not however open to the public except for those on guided walks.

Instead, visitors to the marshes can enjoy a 1km stroll along Neo Tiew Lane 2, where they will be able to observe nature in the Neo Tiew Woods.

They can also climb a roughly 10m high tower for a bird’s eye view of the marshes within the ecologically sensitive area.

Among the birds recorded in the area are nine critically-endangered species, such as the straw-headed bulbul; 10 endangered ones, inclu­ding the purple heron and red-rattled lapwing; and three vulnerable species.

The marshland was created when Kranji reservoir was dammed in the 1970s. That caused the surrounding low-lying areas to become flooded, attracting wildlife. The marshland also comprises woodland and grass habitats. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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